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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22039
Recording details: September 1983
Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Mike Clements
Release date: July 1988
Total duration: 18 minutes 42 seconds

'First-class performances and superb recording. An indispensable issue for lovers of Martinu's music' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'A delightful record, first class performances and superb recording. An indispensable issue' (Penguin Stereo Record Guide)

'Martinu's fluent brand of neo-classicism takes flight in an indispensable (and inexpensive) double-CD set' (

Four Madrigals

Allegro moderato  [3'59]
Lento  [4'02]
Poco allegro  [5'32]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The set of Four Madrigals for oboe, clarinet and bassoon was composed in Nice for the Trio d’Anches. This was the first time Martinu used the title. The introspective mood of Julietta is evident in the restrained character of each of the four pieces, and particularly discernible in the slow second. The Czech inflections are less pronounced but are detectable in the shape of the melodies.

As has been suggested, it was the linear independence of the madrigal that appealed most to Martinu, and in these four pieces it is exploited to the full. There are passages of imitation, but for the most part the three instruments pursue their own ways towards a conclusion, striking against each other and producing angularities of harmony that recall Stravinsky or, more consistently, the calculated spikiness of Honegger, a composer for whom Martinu entertained the greatest admiration. In spite of the ‘modernities’, however, the music is graceful, cool, and elegantly fashioned throughout.

from notes by Kenneth Dommett & Robert Matthew-Walker © 1998

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